Tag Archives: fitness

Stay Fabulous At 50 By Staying Fit

Let us face it. In your 50’s your body is not the same as it was in your 20’s and 30’s, as aging changes many things internally. However, exercising after your 50’s can add healthy years to your life, and it is important that you exercise caution and the right thing in the right way. And with the ongoing pandemic and lessons that COVID-19 is teaching us, there is no doubt that you need to be fit of all ages to battle new-age health challenges. While a significant proportion of Americans are active, less than 25% of adults meet national physical activity guidelines and 40% have obesity as per the ACSM American Fitness Index 2020 report. And as you age fitness is harder while more necessary.

Know Your Body

As the body begins to age, it is not as receptive to unexpected changes and this becomes just another reason to work out and uphold a certain level of fitness.

“As you age, adapting an active and healthy lifestyle is of prime importance to help regulate and monitor your health base. Moreover, indulging in exercise and body workouts on a regular basis can guard you against unwanted heart ailments, diabetes and can also avert you from certain forms of cancer. Working out regularly can also lessen discomfort related to arthritis. By refining one’s stability and balance, suppleness, stamina, fortitude, and strength, older adults can live restored and healthier longer,” says Shalini Bhargava, Fitness Expert & Director at JG’S Fitness Centre.

Exercise Mix

Endurance exercises, such as low-impact aerobics, walking, using cardiovascular equipment such as elliptical trainers, cycle, and swimming based on the level of physical conditioning and current status of health at least five days each week is recommended.

The 50s are when chances of developing osteoporosis goes up and therefore it is imperative to add toning exercises; cardio alone is not enough. Pilates, yoga, and weight-training are some of the options to maintain muscle mass and tone up. These exercises should best be done under professional supervision to avoid injury. Swimming is yet another great workout for this age-group as the risk of injury is much less.

“I would suggest you do either 15 minutes of toning regularly or 45 minutes, thrice a week in combination with a cardio activity of course. During a cardio workout, you are bearing your own body weight, the bones work against gravity and hence reduce mineral loss. I am 52, so I ensure I weight train for two days, dance for two days, and walk for at least four hours a week,” says Suman Agarwal, Celebrity Nutritionist, Author, and Founder of Selfcare India.

Since their movement becomes decreased at that age, they need to focus more on their flexibility and mobility.

“One should avoid strenuous training and sprinting on the treadmill. Not many chest movements should be done and overhead pressing movements should be avoided. Whenever one feels uncomfortable, they should stop immediately and not continue,” says Prosenjit Biswas, Fitness Manager, Skulpt gym, Kolkata.

Do it Right

Sujeet Kumar of Fatcherry International

Start slowly, especially when embarking on a new exercise routine, and ensure you have professional supervision.

Anjali Sareen, The Zone Mind & Body Studio avers, “Choosing a fitness program based on one’s own goals and needs is a must. Selecting fitness routines based on current popular trends or because your friends are doing them or out of convenience of location or price should not be deciding factors. A better option is to focus on personal training sessions with an experienced professional. These sessions can be customized to suit your fitness level, goals, and take into consideration any health concerns or injuries. An experienced professional will be able to include a diverse range of exercises and programming to cover all aspects of a complete fitness program from physical goals to energy and mind gains.”

“Active warm-up reduces resistance to stretch and increases elastic properties or ability to stretch where activity includes stationary cycling, fast walk, or rowing machine. “Proper breathing techniques are often helpful in relaxing and may help reduce stress levels and voluntary muscle tension to avoid internal organ injuries. Maintaining a neutral position of your spine, hips, shoulders, and neck can be greatly improved by using the hand not grasping the ankle to grab the back of a chair to maintain a balance. Gradually decrease in exercise intensity at the end of any cardiovascular exercise to allow heart rate and blood pressure to decrease,” explains Sujeet Kumar, Director & Coach, Fatcherry International Pvt Ltd.

Look Out

Once over 50, it is best to avoid strenuous exercise like long-distance running, high-impact aerobics and weight-training exercises like deadlifts as these can put you at a higher risk of injury. As you age, your muscles shrink, hence opt for low-intensity cardio and toning activities. Avoid running on a treadmill or brisk-walking on an incline as both forms put pressure on the knees. Instead, jog on the ground.

Himay Chikani and Amrin Memon, Co-founders, AH Fitness opine, “Untrained seniors who begin exercising should start at a relatively low exercise intensity and volume. The early phase of the training program should be directed towards learning proper exercise techniques and minimizing the risk of injuries. Advanced and demanding exercises should be incorporated gradually into the program.”

Diksha Chhabra, Fitness Expert, Nutritionist & Founder, Diksha Chhabra Fitness Consultation adds, “High-intensity training, plyometric training, skipping, running or certain movements of weight training like Deadlift, Pull-ups, Leg extensions, and Heavyweight training needs more attention and care while performing as this is the age when your joints start showing signs of detrition and workouts with multiple joints involved or a moment of pressure can put unnecessary jerk on the joints can lead to a long term injury. Hence one must practice controlled momentum and intensity with or without weights for long-term activity.”

Take Care

Always warm-up before starting your workout and cool down when you finish. When you injure yourself at a young age, recovery is much faster. At 50, injuries take longer to heal. Stretches are a must as shoulder, lower back, and knee pain are most common for those in the age bracket.

Sheetal Tewari, Holistic Health Coach, Yoga and meditation teacher, Sound Healer advises, “Do not overdo. The thumb rule is not overdoing anything just because you like it and it’s exciting to try new workouts. Don’t succumb to peer pressure. Choose what works for your body type not what everyone else is doing.” Do pay attention to your body’s signals and try new exercises but with complete precautions.

Dr. Ashish Jain, Orthopedic surgeon, P.D Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mahim, Mumbai explains, “The aim now is to get into ‘anti-aging’ mode. Weight training must continue with maximum possible intensity to help maintain muscle mass and bone density. I suggest focusing more on leg workouts as they comprise the larger body segment and need to be strong for the coming years ahead. Squats, leg press, knee extensions, hamstring curls, and calf raises help in overall leg development. Some form of daily cardio is essential too and I suggest ‘low impact’ options like walks, swimming, cycling, and cross trainers.”

Consistency is the key. So, stay fabulous at 50 by staying fit.


Bindu Gopal Rao is a freelance writer and photographer from Bangalore who likes taking the offbeat path when traveling. Birding and environment are her favorites and she documents her work on www.bindugopalrao.com.

Fitness: A Forgotten Remedy

An anonymous author once wrote: “We are living in an era where capturing moments using our phone is more important than actually living the moment with whoever is beside us.”

Last year, in 2019, this quote rang true, where everyone was glued to their devices by choice, not necessity. As the pandemic rages on, our paradigms have continued to shift, forcing us to socialize virtually. If we shut away our screens, we become truly isolated. Isolation brings depression along with lethargy. As more people become glued to screens, health and fitness drop and, in some cases, to dangerously low levels.  

Fitness – the backbone of a strong lifestyle – helps us de-stress and stay healthy and happy, while allowing us to take a much needed break from our screens. But as this dangerous pandemic has engulfed us, the lockdown has constrained most to our homes. CNBC and Psychology Today found that nationally, people have become less active and sleeping more. Within one month of lockdown, the average activity level dropped 48%, while people are sleeping 20% more.

After the national emergency lockdown in March, the national average of those reporting anxiety increased from 29% to 49%, largely due to the restrictions on activities and the health scares. Physical activity reduces temporary and long-term diagnosed and undiagnosed anxiety and increases neutrophils and natural killer cells which protect the body from viruses such as COVID-19. Regular exercise can also indirectly reduce the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and other respiratory problems that are prevalent with many who have contracted COVID-19. There is no doubt that staying fit is the best way to shield ourselves from both physical and mental health issues, which bolsters our immunity and helps fight against dangerous infections and diseases. 

During these past six months since lockdown, it has become abundantly clear that fitness, or the lack thereof, has become a major issue. It may seem like a mystery that the national average for activity levels has decreased during this period, even though many people claim “to have started working out.” This can be explained rather easily by the types of exercise most are pursuing under lockdown: unsteady vs. regular. Regular fitness is categorized as vigorous repetitive exercise of 75 minutes to 150 minutes per week over several weeks, as described by Mayo Clinic. Unsteady exercise, on the other hand, while may still be rigorous, does not occur repeatedly enough to cause a noticeable improvement in fitness.

Many of us have tried to adapt to the rising virtual fitness world, turning to virtual products of at-home workouts and exercise, says Fortune. But staying committed to a routine without external support is difficult over a long period of time. Families have eagerly scheduled activity times, such as hiking, family walks, and beach days, but these activities are not defined as rigorous, repetitive exercise, leading to the major misconception that people are becoming more active. Since regular exercise is mandatory to maintain a calm composure, release stress, protect against viruses, and remain focused and alert, we must find a way to bring fitness back to our society.

The proven method to create and manage an exercise routine is to create a planned extensive workout schedule with someone and work together to hold each other accountable. When it comes to your health, never leave anything to chance, so plan out your approach, and take guidance from experts to design the best and safest exercise routine for you. Each individual is unique in their strengths, abilities, and flexibility, so a routine designed around you is best. I personally started with scheduled Zoom workouts with my friends, focusing on building muscles and staying healthy. I joined virtual sports classes for youth and committed to attending them each time. My top sport is Taekwondo and I have incorporated at least one hour of virtual learning and teaching each day of the week. 

In March, I began my own virtual fitness and martial arts classes, mostly for family and close friends. In just a couple of months, I realized the amazing progress my students had made with their martial art learning and overall fitness and health. They had matured in discipline and perseverance. Encouraged, and realizing the benefit my classes provided, I formally started a non-profit on the premise of spreading fitness and martial arts training to youth virtually. The free classes teach general fitness, self-defense, and confidence. Fit4Grit Academy now has nearly 10 instructors instructing over 35 students. We also have multiple partnerships with national non-profits, youth-employment/development organizations, and martial art and fitness academies. We are working to expand nationwide, and globally. Fit4Grit focuses on fitness by teaching students the most effective ways to exercise in a safe environment with commitment, rigor, and discipline. The foundational values of fitness taught in Fit4Grit can translate to creating a healthy lifestyle for the long haul.

With the uncertainty around us, it is important to take care of our health and that of our loved ones. Fitness provides the most benefits to anyone of any age, anywhere. Take your time to understand your body and your needs and prioritize your health, even if it means picking up that electronic device and joining a virtual fitness class.

Let Fit4Grit Academy help you. Try out a class and plan your fitness schedule in the comfort of your home. If you have questions or would like to discuss your fitness needs, feel free to reach out to me, Adarsh Gupta, at fit4grit.adarsh@gmail.com.

 


Adarsh Gupta, a sophomore at Saint Francis High School, a 2nd Degree Martial Art Black Belt, a competitive golfer, and the Founder of Fit4Grit Academy. He loves to be surrounded by fitness but also enjoys relaxing by playing guitar and gardening.

Procrastination To Persistence: How I Stopped That Doubting “Voice” And Started Running

The alarm went off a little before 5am. It had been a restless night with a sick child. The first agenda item on a cold Saturday morning – a 10 mile run with my run group. An hour later, I watched a slim sliver of sunlight break through the thready fog resting low on the horizon as the wind circled the shallow waters of the bay. With pelicans flying overhead, I listened to my breath sounding harshly in my ears, legs straining to climb the next incline. And I wondered how this persona had resided inside of me without my knowledge. Much later, the restless night and fatigue forgotten – I felt jubilant. I had managed to run my first ever 10 miler! My legs shook, but my spirit soared!

And I suddenly had the confidence to run a half marathon in a few weeks time, the event that our group was currently training for.

A Season of “Firsts”: 

It had been nearly three months of ‘Firsts. And the biggest first of all, was the moment I broke the pattern of excuses and procrastination. Caught in the despair of post pregnancy weight gain; having tried diets and gym routines with less than stellar results, I was bemoaning the plight of my yo-yoing journey with the weigh scale. My friend Anu, told me about a runners group she was part of. The name caught me immediately. ‘Fierceli Fit’! It brought to mind visions of sleek, toned bodies of elite athletes flying along effortlessly. One look in the mirror showed me the unvarnished truth. I did not, from any angle, look anything remotely like that! The chinks in my self image screamed for attention and I almost changed my mind. Then I held my breath, and got on their wait list.

What made me take that step? Maybe it was the moment my knees creaked while climbing a flight of stairs. Or when I tried to hide the weigh scale to keep from being disappointed, yet again. The worst feeling was that I was failing an active child, exhausted while playing a simple game of tag.  My sister sent me encouragement in the form of a timely reminder of long forgotten days when I was an athlete and a dancer. How was it that I had only a hazy memory of that time? All I know for sure, is that I had used up my quota of excuses that started with “maybe”, “if only” and “could-have-been”.

Over the next few weeks, I learned several truths about what it takes to put myself first, and make a commitment that changed the way I viewed fitness. At the orientation session, it was a relief when I saw the turnout. There were easily between 20 – 30 beginner runners who showed up. It was not the numbers that gave me courage. Rather, it was the fact that a lot of them looked like the person whom I saw in my mirror that morning. The hour long orientation helped change my mind about the common delusions, myths, and excuses people entertain – which stops them from altering their quality of life.

One Woman’s Vision:

Fierceli Fit Founder and Coach – Sonali Desai, is passionate about running. And that is a serious understatement! Sonali is many things – Wife, Mom, Career woman, Runner and Coach. Her love affair with running started in 2009 when she spotted a call for runners in the community email list from a local Non Profit organization. They offered training towards running a half marathon and in return, all the proceeds from enrollments would go towards the cause of eradicating illiteracy in India. Eager to shed her post pregnancy weight she joined in, unsure of whether she would actually see it through. At the very least she thought that ir would help in fund raising for a great cause!

Growing up in India, Sonali, like many other girls, was not encouraged to be athletic. She remembers dreading her school’s annual Sports Day and stayed up nights praying that it would be canceled, because it was compulsory that everyone participate in track and field events. So it was indeed a big deal when she enrolled to train for a half marathon! Once she discovered the joy of running, she was hooked! Subsequently she went from barely being able to run a 50 meter run, to running full marathons. That is when she realized, “If I can do it, anybody can!” Sonali felt there were many like her – women who did not realize their potential, and who could use a nudge in the right direction.

She realized that beginner runners, especially women – often harbored preconceived notions and myths about running, “There is a perception that runners are a different breed – unapproachable – and superhuman!” It dawned on her that this could be a role that she could fulfill while helping others like her. The proverbial ‘call to action’ came when Sonali lost a friend to depression. She strongly felt that running can be a ‘tool’ to empower women like her.

The Beginning:

In early 2015, Sonali sent out an email via her community network, in Ardenwood, California – offering her help in training for a half marathon. She was circumspect about the feedback that she might receive. The overwhelming response took her by surprise, and she reached out to fellow runner, Pradeep Nagaraja for help with training.

Fierceli Fit started in January 2015, with 20 runners. All except one, were women from the Indian American community. In two years the numbers have grown from 20 to 110! And between them, Sonali and Pradeep have helped nudge many beginner runners, men and women alike, cross the finish line and change their lives for the better.

Aspiring runners can visit their Facebook page, or email – info@fiercelifit.com – to get on a wait list. They are then emailed a questionnaire covering basic personal information. A few weeks prior to the start of a session, runners attend an orientation meeting where they meet the coaches and returning runners. Members are cautioned to declare pre-existing medical conditions, in which case they require a medical clean chit to be provided by the doctor’s office clearing them for the period of training.

There is no membership fee except for a nominal amount which goes towards procuring the Parks and Recreation permit from the City of Fremont, since all training takes place in the Coyote Hills area. The only requirement the coaches have from runners is that they show up, commit to training and update run logs!

Running to Reconnect:

We live in an increasingly digitized world where we are ruled by social media and work environments. Despite the growing number of digital avatars, or maybe because of it, real life can be filled with a sense of isolation. It is becoming more and more challenging to make and cultivate realistic human contacts and connections. Along with this comes an unrealistic view of the world around us, and about our self image as well.

Sonali and Pradeep strongly believe running has empowered and enabled them to reconnect to the real world. Beginner runners are encouraged to leave their cell phones and gadgets behind as far as possible. Running offers a sense of unbridled freedom from the virtual world! In addition to the obvious physical benefits, it helps build mental strength and clarity as well – a fact that can translate across personal and work lives.

“Running is not just about the physical act of moving your limbs and fitness, or only about the quality of running gear or shoes. It is about setting small goals to accomplish the bigger goal of the race,” says Pradeep. The discipline required to be able to set such goals and follow through, is what ultimately shapes a runner. And in this process you learn things about yourself that you never knew existed!

Busting Myths:

Pradeep Nagaraja’s journey with running started in India. He was not a serious athlete, but more of a casual runner. He began running while he was pursuing his Master’s degree in the U.S, with the intention of losing weight. Then he signed up for a full marathon – and trained on his own, learning from blog groups and training methods he found online. When he encountered shinsplints midway through the race, he realized he had to learn to respect the miles – and downgraded from a full to a half marathon. Despite this, it was a tough experience.

Pradeep joined other run groups to train, but found they had a ‘hands off’ approach when it came to help or suggestions. Runners were on their own for the most part. He also felt that during a long run, like a half marathon, the time when runners needed encouragement was in the final stretch – the last couple of miles. He did not find this to be the case with the other run groups he joined. So when Sonali suggested forming Fierceli Fit, he jumped at the suggestion, eager to share his experiences and prevent others from making similar mistakes. More importantly the two coaches sought to bust some commonly held myths about running.

Myth # 1: Running destroys your knees.

This could not be further from the truth. There are several articles lending support to dispel such a myth. Standing still for long hours can cause discomfort in the knees, but running strengthens them. Obviously, the correct training plan is important, as is the benefit of having a coach to support and correct running form etc, in order to avoid common injuries with such an activity.

Myth # 2: It is all about the Pace.

Very often beginner runners tend to believe that ‘running’ means – going at a fast clip. This could lead to injuries, instead of helping keep them motivated to finish strong. The pace, or speed at which you run, is not the most important thing as it turns out. Especially for long distances like half marathons. It is important to run comfortably. And it is totally acceptable to take walk breaks in between. Bodies take time to gain conditioning and stamina. Pace is the last thing you need to worry about, when you start out.

Myth # 3: Runners must have the right physique.

The image one associates with a runner is often a cause that can impede interest in pursuing running. Very often they are told, or believe, that they don’t necessarily “look”‘ like a runner. A perfect runner’s physique is tough to attain. And if that is the ultimate goal, there are other types of training one has to engage in to consciously build that “look”. Pradeep cautions beginning runners about harboring such expectations. The most important thing according to him is to “learn to listen to your body”. Commitment and consistency will slowly but surely bring the conditioning required and show results.

Above and Beyond:

Sonali and Pradeep offer their guidance and expertise free of charge to the Fierceli Fit runners. They have been known to go above and beyond their “duties” in supporting their members. Such is their dedication, that the coaches are present for each and every weekend long run. They are on hand to cheer the runners on, video the runs to check for issues with run form, offer suggestions and advice on hydration, and even pace with the runners. This kind of personal touch is what keeps the runners engaged and motivated to return session after session.

Sonali laughingly admits that she has offered babysitting services to runners with young kids to ensure they can run on race day! “Life happens. There might be factors beyond the runner’s control which might impede performance, or even cause them to miss out on a run. But what we aim to offer with Fierceli Fit – is a support system that will shore you up through whatever it is that you might be facing, personally, or professionally,”, says Sonali. The coaches strive to make sure that each runner gets everything they would need individually to be able to go through training and finish the race.

Making themselves approachable is one of the main value-adds that makes Fierceli Fit a success story.

Talking to my fellow runners offered further validation for the training program.

Suju, is an incredibly dedicated runner who has been training with Fierceli Fit for the past three years. She has completed 5 Half Marathons and 2 Full Marathons, while balancing work and family. In her unassuming manner, she credits her older daughter and husband as the main inspiration for her running journey. Fierceli Fit’s training program offered her achievable goals. “The camaraderie within the group, seeing a fellow runner on the trails, lifts the spirits and I know that I am not alone,” she says. “Veteran runners share their experiences and help freely,” a fact that she both admires and is grateful for.

Halima‘s presence in the group is a testament to her courage, determination and the support she receives from the coaches. Losing her mother at a young age had her taking on a supportive role in her family. Her academic pursuits left her with a growing weight problem, which further impeded her health. Halima met coach Sonali socially through a friend. “When I heard how she helped people to run, simply as a way of giving back to her community, that was an inspiration to me,” she says. Overcoming physical injuries as a result of her weight, Halima trained with Fierceli Fit and successfully finished her first Half Marathon in 2017. Running has helped her overcome her insecurities and also build mental fortitude. “I am a primary care giver to my father who suffers from Alzheimer’s. I cannot and will not give up!” she says.

Priyanka joined Fierce Fit with no idea about the distance involved in running a Half Marathon! So she was both shocked and elated that she had managed to complete her training and reach the finish line! As a stay-at-home-mom, she engaged in moderate exercise, walking, yoga and pilates. Running, although intimidating at first, taught her that she had the capability to take on much more than she had imagined. Recruiting her friends to watch her children while her husband was away on work travel, Priyanka made it to all her practice runs. Her husband, who doubted her ability to stick with the training, now wants to join Fierceli Fit himself! She considers this turn of events her true success!

Latha & Soma Ellappan, are one of many couples who have benefited from training with Fierceli Fit. Soma returns each session to bolster his love of running, enjoys the discipline and engagement with the coaches. He also plays a supportive role within the group, along with other veteran runners. He encountered injuries while training, but still managed to finish, only because the coaches tweaked his training schedule and worked around such issues. This further enhanced his passion and respect for the program.

He then encouraged his wife Latha to join the group. Both of them are grateful for the support they receive with training and enjoy the dynamics of the group. “The end goals shifted from the Half Marathon to camaraderie,” says Soma.. Creatively managing child care for their two boys, they are committed to their training, while balancing busy careers as well. Latha is proud that they are leading by example, and paving the way for their kids, by placing a high value on physical fitness  in their daily lives. The fact that their children, ages 10 and 8, recently ran their first 5K, is a source of great pride to both parents! Running has changed their family dynamic for the better. It also fosters mutual respect for one another’s achievements and has greatly impacted their expectations from each other. “This is my retirement plan! My biggest 401K,” says Soma!

Other runners have reaped both tangible and intangible rewards over the years. Whether it is quitting a smoking habit, managing to get off their hypertension medication, or successfully turning their weight issues around, Sonali and Pradeep consider it an honor to be in a position to be able to offer help and support. No gain is higher than the satisfaction of watching such positive life changes happen in the lives of their members. All they ask is that you show up! They are hoping to reach out to more communities around the Bay Area and be able to accommodate greater numbers of beginner runners in future. 

As for the word ‘Endurance’ – all I hear in the voices of the women and men of Fierceli Fit is courage, determination, and a willingness to renew themselves every step of the way. With their persistence, they have changed the outlook within their families when it comes to personal image, and fitness goals.

Team Fierceli Fit is currently training to run the Armed Forces Half Marathon, on May 26th, 2018.

Meanwhile, I happily confess that I have been well and truly bitten by the Run Bug. On a recent trip to New Zealand, I was committed to stick with the training routine. The morning after we landed in Auckland I discovered that while I had packed all my run gear, I had managed to forget my toothbrush!

There are many paths towards fitness… but none so wholesome as becoming ‘Fierceli Fit’!!

Pavani Kaushik is a visual artist who loves a great book, almost as much as planning her next painting. She received a BFA from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco. She has held art shows in London, Bangalore and locally here in California. 

First published in May 2018.

 

 

 

Skyrocket Your Energy Level

Do you ever watch a group of kids at play and wonder where they get all that energy? If you were able to bottle all that vim and vigor, you would make a fortune selling this elixir at offices in early afternoons or at the juice bar in the local fitness center.

You are not alone when you get that sagging feeling in the early afternoon, or when you just don’t have quite enough oomph to finish your exercise routine.

There has been a proliferation of energy drinks and “healthy” granola bars in the market, as the solution to replenishing that empty fuel tank.

However, most of these highly sweetened liquids and foods use sugars to give your body a quick energy boost. The catch is, not only do you exhaust the sugar-supplied energy very quickly; it also slows your metabolism down and can further hinder you’re the progress towards your fitness goals.

The good news is, there are a number of other things that you can do to increase your energy levels…naturally. Some of it has to do with shift in dietary habits, while others involve lifestyle changes, and then there are exercises that immensely help fill up your energy reserves.

Dietary Energy Boosters

Reduce your sugar consumption
Sugar causes energy fluctuations that contribute to fatigue. Eat foods and snacks that are high in protein and good, complex carbohydrates, the source of energy.

Increase your iron intake
An iron deficiency is responsible for much of the chronic fatigue. Eat foods that are high in iron and take a good, natural iron supplement.

Drink lots of water
A dehydrated body tires easily, so stay hydrated with frequent glasses of water.

Eat smaller and frequent meals
Large meals, particularly lunch, will contribute to that groggy feeling in the early afternoon. More frequent meals stabilize insulin levels and keep your metabolism up throughout the day.

Eat brain food
Consume healthy fats like those in fish and green leafy vegetables to boost your brain function and provide energy.

Eat healthy snacks
A snack of protein, complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables will keep your blood sugars at a consistent level all day long. Protein combats fatigue and builds muscle mass to appear toned.

Whole grains take longer for your system to metabolize and give a steady supply of energy, not the quick, short-lived burst that sugars supply.

Enjoy your cup of coffee but don’t over do it. The initial rush from caffeine is not long-lasting and will leave you fatigued and dehydrated.

Eat lots of fiber
Fiber promotes satiety and the slow release of sugar will give you sustained energy throughout the day.

Lifestyle Changes for An Energy Boost

Practice deep breathing
Breathing with your abdominal muscles will increase your oxygen intake to improve your lung capacity and increase overall stamina overtime.

Start your day with a big breakfast
Your body needs a jump-start in the morning and a good, well-balanced breakfast rich in protein and complex carbohydrates is the best way to start the day and feel fresh for a long time.

Stop smoking
Smoking depletes oxygen and in turn reduces stamina to leave you feeling fatigued.

Sleep with the sun
Sleep hormones are linked to natural light. Going to sleep early helps you awaken naturally without requiring an alarm.  If it is still light outside, create the illusion of darkness by using heavy curtains to block off sunlight and streetlights, switching off laptops, cell phones and other gadgets to prepare your body for a restful night of sleep.

Read before going to bed
Establish a sleep ritual like reading before retiring. It helps block out other noise in your mind and helps you fall asleep faster.

Avoid sleeping with pets
Pets on your bed will disturb your sleep if you keep bumping into them. So get the dog and cat to sleep in their own beds. That way everyone wakes up feeling fresh.

Exercises That Provide Energy Boost

Get up and stretch
It is important to take a break to stretch from sitting down for too long to maintain a good blood flow to your body and brain. Stretch your body out will keep you from sagging into lethargy and bad posture.

Have a short morning workout routine
This will shake off your sleepiness, rev up your metabolism and get your blood flowing for most of the day.

Play competitive sports
Playing a sport requires thinking and will spark your mental energy. Desire to win and winning provides adrenaline rush to keep you feeling youthful.

Go for a brisk, short walk after a big meal. It will aid digestion and avoid feeling bloated.

Try doing the following to beat drowsiness. Remove your watch, and stand straight. Extend your right arm slightly, palm down. With your left hand, rub the right arm firmly from wrist to shoulder. Rotate palm upwards, and rub firmly from shoulder to wrist.

Repeat this until ten repetitions are completed. Reverse and rub the left arm with the right hand.

Stand straight with feet slightly spread. Raise your hands to shoulder height, elbows bent at 90 degrees, palms facing down. Start shaking your hands very fast with your wrists relaxed. Do this for a count to 100.

All of the above will help restore your energy and awaken you.

Puja Mukherjee, is a certified fitness trainer, who woke up one morning to drop everything in the pursuit of her passion for fitness. She says the best part about her job is to liberate her clients from their preconceived notions about fitness and see them be dazzled. Follow her at www.getmeanmuscle.com.